Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Cutting Comments

Bob has a 'thing' about having sharp knives in the kitchen*. He argues, quite properly, that a dull knife is more likely to slip. So our knives are all stored carefully in a knife block, and regularly sharpened by Bob. I'm fascinated to watch him wielding the steel [but I always stand on the opposite side of the kitchen when he does it!] It's a bit like Errol Flynn playing both parts in a sword fight - there seem to be flashing blades everywhere!
Our breadknife has failed us [it is over 40 years old] and we've been hunting for a new one. We were pleased to find this one in the M&S New Year's Sale** - greatly reduced, and I had a loyalty points voucher. Original price £26, but I handed over just £5 for a smart stainless steel riveted handle model.
My own favourite is a little red Swiss Kuhn Rikon paring knife, it has a 3½" blade, and its own sheath. It fits nicely into my hand and is good for veg. I've had it for decades.
However, slicing celeriac is a whole new ball game. Those knobbly, brain-like roots are quite tough. I could never have produced the thin slices required for the boulangere, or prepared the julienne for the remoulade without this. It's an Oxo Good Grips hand held mandoline. Jon gave me this, years ago, and I find it so useful. Thanks Jon!
It has an adjustable very sharp blade [3 thicknesses plus safety closure] and a hand grip so you don't slice your fingers.
I am trying to minimise my kitchenware - but I refuse to cut down on my good knives [apologies for bad pun] 
*I recall a self-catering cottage in Cornwall which was very badly equipped, and all the knives were blunt. So he insisted we went out to Trago Mills to buy a knife for the holiday. At the end of the fortnight we left it behind for the next family, with a label "This knife is sharp!"
**M&S no longer sell knives online, and when we got our breadknife instore, the assistant said she fully expects M&S to stop selling kitchen knives completely soon. All the knives they had were reduced, and she said there had been no new stock since Christmas.


  1. A good, sharp kitchen knife is a valuable tool!

  2. I have the most magnificent mandolin that my daughter bought me for Christmas. Sharp as anything but there is a safety thing that grips the vegetables. Very satisfying to have a pile of equally sliced potatoes ets. Also bought a new bread knife to slice my sourdough loaves, a professional job from Bakery Bits online and not too dear either. Works a treat.

  3. He'll kill me for telling you this but once, when flicking through my Lakeland Catalogue HOH remarked "Lakeland is so middle class - they are even selling mandolins now." Took a few seconds before I realised he thought they were selling the musical instrument! Ha! We never let him forget.

  4. I buy knives from Lakeland. They come with a sgeath with a little sharpening blade in it.

  5. We too are still using the bread knife that was passed on to us 47 years ago. I am not sure how long the other person had used it before giving it to us It has a thin blade and is brilliant for slicing tomatoes as well as bread and cake. I will be gutted when it eventually gives up.

  6. I'm scared of Mandolines! I cut myself badly on one as a teenager and I've not gone near one since! We are still using my mum's knives from my childhood home but we bought a couple of others too as they aren't very sharp! We should.
    You got a bargain!


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